The PhIS group (Physicists for inclusion in Science) has been busy this year! The group fosters inclusion by providing an inclusive community, professional development opportunities, and mentorship for aspiring physicists. This year, their activities have included coffee breaks, mixers (including an amazing dinner and silent auction for the department), book clubs, and many outreach activities. Check out all the fun at http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/phis/2018/05/07/physicists-inclusion-science-phis/ . The 2018/19 elections have happened and the new PhIS leadership is: MacKenzie Lenz (President), Kelby Hahn (Vice President), Mike Vignal (Treasurer), Mattia Carbonara (Secretary). They invite everyone to join!
Rebecca Grollman, Graham Founds, Rick Wallace and Oksana Ostroverkhova’s paper “Simultaneous fluorescence and surface charge measurements on organic semiconductor-coated silica microspheres” has been featured by Advances in Engineering as a key scientific article contributing to excellence in science and engineering research. See
for a short summary of the paper and a short video highlighting the result.
Amy Poe (M.S. Physics, 1999) is a semiconductor-engineer-turned-entrepreneur. See her Portland-based business featured in the news in this link: https://specialtyfabricsreview.com/2018/04/01/amy-poe-builds-wyckam-from-a-marine-canvas-business-into-a-custom-sewing-shop/
On Friday March 9th, the OSU Astronomy Club and the Department of physics held the first Astronomy Open House of 2018! The Astronomy Club under Emily Simpson, Rachel Hausmann, Samantha Carrothers, Nathanial Miller, Leon Linebarger, Tyler Parsotan and many dedicated volunteers invited OSU students, adults and children to Weniger Hall to have fun with hands on demonstrations that help explain how astrophysical phenomena work.
Some of the activities included a room dedicated to Mars landing sites, by Rachel Hausmann, an activity dedicated to the mythology behind constellations, by Samantha Carrothers, a test created by Emily Simpson to determine which historical scientist you would be. We also had a presentation on remote telescope observations by local astronomers Tom Carrico, a presentation on telescope tuning by Stephen McGettigan, and the OSU Robotics Club show off their Mars rover!
Over 100 people attended the event and got a free NASA poster for completing each activity! While we weren’t able to have telescopes out for this event due to the weather, future events will have night observations; especially as the weather gets better and better here in Oregon. In order to hear about our next event like us on facebook.com/osuastronights. We hope to see you there!
see http://terra.oregonstate.edu/2018/02/lights-action-physics/ for the online version.
Undergraduate volunteers from the Department of Physics took some of their favorite kid-friendly demonstrations to share with families at the annual Family Science Night at Franklin School, Corvallis, on January 25th. The demonstrations included exploding balloons in a vacuum chamber, the dielectric breakdown of air, target practice with a vortex cannon, rainbow effects with diffraction glasses and the department’s home made hover craft. Many thanks to volunteers, Zack Colbert, Lincoln Worley, Mirek Brandt, Garrett Jepson, Hanna Hansen, and Mattia Carbonaro.
The work of OSU physics graduate student Lee Aspitarte was featured as a Scientific Highlight on the American Institute of Physics website. Lee’s recent experiments in Ethan Minot’s lab provide new insights about nanoscale pn-junctions. Nanoscale pn-junctions are a promising technology for maximizing the efficiency of light-to-electricity conversion.
This year’s winner of the WIC Culture of Writing Award in Physics is Jeremy Meinke, for his thesis entitled, “Single-Molecule Analysis of a Novel Kinesin Motor Protein.” Jeremy worked under the direction of Prof. Weihong Qiu. He was with the Qiu research group for two years and in 2016, he received URISC and SURE awards to support his work. Jeremy says of the OSU Physics Department, “I enjoyed the range of physics topics the upper division classes offered, which kept me constantly thinking about new concepts. Overall, it was a great place for me to study physics. I truly benefited from the research experience.”
Atul Chhotray was awarded the 2017 Physics Department Graduate Research Award.
A native of India, Atul joined OSU in 2014 as a transfer student from North Carolina State University.
Atul has since performed his research in the computational astrophysics group of Dr. Davide Lazzati.
Davide Lazzati is featured in the latest issue of Terra magazine.